numinousmagazine

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

In Issue 5 on January 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

art brut is a gogyohka in charcoal

the tiger-lily
a new morning fire –

languid death typecast

which old law of prayer?
which law of belief?

what siberia-white?
what upside-down endowments
on a hunch, what afternoons?

what of careful evidence?

we tire –
of second-guessing

borrowed joy will suffice us

singled example
in onion skin and orange
leaflets, broadsides, letterform

****


Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has two chapbooks Bistre Junction and In Memoriam to a Marionette: Caudate Sonnet of the Year Ad Interim, forthcoming from Firstfruits Publications and Silkworms Ink. Trained in book publishing at Stanford, with a theology masters in world religions from Harvard and fine arts masters in creative writing from Notre Dame, Desmond has edited more than 10 books and co-produced 3 audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. Desmond is a recipient of the Singapore Internationale Grant and Dr Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dear Sir, Fence, InDigest, Prime Number, and RED OCHRE Lit. Desmond also works in clay, his commemorative pieces housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

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  1. A very fine poem indeed. I especially like the title, which, if it didn’t leap straight from the muse’s mouth, is perhaps the closest choice of words I’ve ever heard put there. It wouldn’t be, however, the highest compliment to the fellow referred to, or maybe you mean any and everybody that dare step out of cultural bounds, come out from under the binding of books? I understand the need for a net of safety, but perhaps there might be surer things than tradition and pedagogy, and maybe there is stronger evidence available than that provided by other people. I’ve been asking the question recently – seeing how in a instant, some shock of the sense, one can doubt the existence of anything bigger than the world and life – what would it take for a person to be utterly convinced that God is real and personally involved in one’s life, indwelling even? Direct personal experience, but even then it has to be so direct and so personal and happen so often that the stubborn human mind has no choice but to submit to believe in the unbelievable. One would be crazy not to.
    So in the spirit of the game of art, which you seem to how to play, I give you a rebuttal to your poem in verse. No offense.

    A Cultural Ribbon That Dandy

    What you knew.
    So sophisticated stare –
    El Camino of Santiago March of Dimes.
    Something beyond cultural expense.
    Leaves traces of fire.

    • Hi Donny:

      I loved reading your response, which was wonderful and engaged. Thank you for the poem too. Loved it! Be well, and take good care!

      Cheers,
      Desmond.

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